From the December/January 2016 Issue:

That Special Time of Year

    Writer: Robin Amster | Designer: Diane Burgoyne, Allied Member ASID | Photographer: Tim Proctor |

Christmas is the height of one designer’s seasonal decorating

Article Photo
enlarge | Bergère chairs and a sectional provide comfy spots to enjoy a tree filled with ornaments that represent “a walk down memory lane,” Diane Burgoyne says. Over the fireplace, antlers are hung with Christmas balls while antler candelabras sit among greenery on the mantel.
For designer Diane Burgoyne, Christmas is the culmination of year-round seasonal decorating. “I like to change things up,” says Burgoyne, an allied member of the American Society of Interior Designers and principal of Diane Burgoyne Interiors in Medford. In autumn, for example, she changes throw pillows to fall colors, places gourds and pumpkins around the home and adds fall leaves to her table settings. For winter she places antlers over the fireplace, and she welcomes spring with switching to lighter colors for throw pillows, putting up a favorite oil painting of rabbits and placing topiaries on the fireplace mantel.

Christmas, though, is special—“absolutely special,” Burgoyne says.

Last Christmas was the Burgoyne family’s last one in the center-hall colonial-style Moorestown home where they had lived for 23 years. Like Christmases past, Burgoyne made a big — but at the same time subtle — splash for the holiday’s design scheme.

Article Photo
enlarge | In the French-influenced living room, a lemon yellow wall forms the backdrop for a pale blue, floral-striped brocade sofa and two chairs with handpainted floral backs. Between them sits a gold-painted cocktail table. A poinsettia sits on one end table and a glass nativity on the other.
Everywhere … but Subtle
The designer didn’t neglect any spaces when decorating for Christmas—even the powder room got a holiday touch. “But it’s certainly not over the top,” she says of her decorating scheme. “I don’t do overly heavy garlands, for example. It’s more subtle.”

The holiday décor also reflects the home’s overall design, Burgoyne says. “You look at the home and go from there,” she says. The Moorestown home was traditional, she says, but the spaces didn’t feel stuffy. A split staircase set the stage for the traditional spaces to follow as well as for the holiday décor. Antique bombé chests on both sides of the staircase held a different collection of Santas—woodsy and whimsical figurines dressed in plaid jackets and furry boots, some of them holding skis. Poinsettias lined the staircase and led up to a simple garland of greenery and tiny white lights draped over the top railing. A wide ribbon held a large red ornament suspended from the chandelier.

The living room, meanwhile, showed off its French influence with lemon yellow walls; a pale blue, floral-striped brocade sofa; blue chairs bearing a handpainted design on their backs; and a gold-painted cocktail table. Wood sconces painted gold held candles.

Burgoyne set the room for Christmas with a poinsettia on one end table, a glass nativity on another and a collection of balls in varying shades of blue in clear glass containers of varying heights on the cocktail table. Strands of colorful beads surrounded the containers.

Article Photo
enlarge | Chairs with a white finish flank the wood table in the breakfast room, which shares the same French feel as the living room. The imposing hutch is topped by greenery and sugared fruit, and its shelves house a collection of Byers’ Choice caroler figurines interspersed with antique tureens.
Down Memory Lane
A large Christmas tree stood in one corner of the family room, trimmed with ornaments the designer has collected since her marriage. They represent “a walk down memory lane,” she says—an ornament from her honeymoon in Bermuda, a snowman made of shells, ornaments made by the couples’ two sons, others that were gifts and many more from their travels.

Above the fireplace, antlers were hung with Christ­mas balls while two antler candelabras sat on the mantel among green garlands interspersed with ornaments and lights. The home’s French-influenced design scheme was evident in the two bergère chairs across from a comfy sectional in a knobby cream and brown fabric.

A French hutch, also located in the family room, was adorned with small glass Christmas trees; green garlands with twinkling lights; and red, gold and green beads. Two figures of pheasants the designer bought in an antiques store many years ago fit in perfectly with the holiday decorations. Burgoyne’s antique Limoges bird plates also seemed right at home for the holidays, especially when decorated with sprigs of holly.

The dining room was dressed up for the holidays also. Gracing this elegant space: a mahogany pedestal dining table flanked by 18th century mahogany Chippendale chairs. The bird-motif wallpaper above wainscoting testified to Burgoyne’s interest in birds, while a stately mahogany server set against the wall held a holiday arrangement of Lenox candlesticks, whimsical Santas, gold wire Christmas trees and red balls in a bowl.

On the dining room table, Burgoyne placed balls of different sizes and holly in an antique crystal punchbowl surrounded by strands of beads. Nearby stood candlesticks filled with greenery. Come spring, the punchbowl would be filled with plants as the seasonal decorating scheme began anew.

Towels with a holly and berry design bring the holiday theme into a powder room along with a comical Santa, candy cane figure and painted boxes on a shelf. • A dining room window is decked out with a star made of gold-sprayed twigs suspended by a gold ribbon. • Even the mudroom gets the holiday treatment. Sprigs of greenery and berries line the windowsill while woodsy snowmen sit next to the sink. • A colorful and detailed nativity scene and miniature evergreens grace a tabletop.

Robin Amster, a regular contributor to Design NJ, is a Madison-based writer and editor.


Overall: interior design, Diane Burgoyne Interiors in Medford. Foyer: crystal finials on staircase, Chelsea House in Rocky Mount, North Carolina; mirrors, Carvers Guild in West Groton, Massachusetts; bombé chests, antiques. Family room: sectional, Kravet furniture and fabric in Bethpage, New York; antlers over mantel, Chelsea House; antler candelabras, Pottery Barn; bergère chairs, Brunschwig & Fils fabrics in New York City; round table and glass cocktail table, Harden Furniture in McConnellsville, New York; French hutch, Fremarc Designs in City of Industry, California; stuffed pheasants and Limoges bird plates, antiques. Living room: chairs and sofa, Scalamandré in New York City; handpainted design on chairs, Susan Marshall Artwork in Cherry Hill and Orange, Massachusetts; coffee table, lamps, sconces, Chelsea House; plates and oil painting, antiques. Dining room: table, chairs and breakfront, Bernhardt in Lenoir, North Carolina; mirror, Carver’s Guild; antique crystal punchbowl, The Owl’s Tale in Haddonfield. Breakfast room: table and hutch, source now out of business; chandelier, Fine Art Lamps in Miami Lakes, Florida.

Download the complete resource guide with contact information (pdf)